Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Can We Take Any More Family Fun..I Think So

Thanks to much planning and organization on several of my aunt's part we had a family reunion in Kansas this week. Eric and I were only able to go up for one night and one day, but we had a great time.
We caravaned with Dad and mom in one car, Ryan, Adrian and the boys in another car, and Eric, Jack and I in the third car.

The reunion took place in a huge barn that had tons of space. It had plenty of rooms and fun things to do. It was awesome to see most of the family there.
So, for the most part there was plenty of space, except few of us were taken to other peoples houses to make enough space. Eric and I and Ryan and A went to a friend of my aunt's house.

Her and her husband were super nice and we had a great time. Eric and I got a good laugh when we saw our bed...

It was a little short...
Until we discovered that the pillows were just in the wrong place.

The following day all of us went to my Aunt and Uncle's farm...Hickory Creek Farms
They have this great farm that has so many fun things to do, including a hay ride, train ride, and a way cool corn maze.
I don't know if this tactic was exactly fair...but it didn't work anyway.

We made two teams and each team got a map with this picture of the corn maze on it. We had to find the clues and then get out of the maze before the other team. It was so fun!!!

After much fun on the farm we made our way back to the 'big barn' and had a great lunch then some free time before...of course... family pictures. (The Toliver family with only 28 people missing)

After we took lots of pictures it was time to go swimming. We didn't even have to swim in a pond, we had a pool.

Here are some great videos of something my Uncle John showed us that he did when he was a was called the fly swatter...OUCH!!!!!

Since Eric was a little bigger than some of the cousins it wasn't quite as painful...they couldn't throw him as hard.

Poor Zach though..

Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

On the way home, mom rode with Eric and I. So Eric sat in the back with Jack. He said he was getting cold so mom sweetly gave him a plastic bag to keep warm.

We had a great time and again...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Family Fun...

Life has been keeping busy for Eric and I. We spend most of our weekdays working and as I mentioned before we spend many evenings at the lake.
One thing that we are blessed with is to live very close to some of our family. My parents live close by and so do my brother and sis-in-law. We have a great time with them many evenings of the week. One of the very best things is, with my brother and sis living so close, that also means that my two wonderful nephews live close by too and we get to play with and visit with them all the time!!!

Eric and I both feel as though God has allowed us to live close by (for many reasons), but one of the very important reasons is that we have been able to watch how R and A raise their children. We are blessed by them probably more than they know and we probably watch them alot more than they realize...not in a stalker way ;)
Something about living close to family, is that it makes you realize how much you miss when you have family that lives so far away. It is hard not being able to see them whenever you want or getting to know them the way you would like.
But, Eric and I have talked on several occasions just how Good God is!! We both have a loving family who prays for us and supports us.
We love each one of our nephews, Nolan, Shiloh, Cy, and Eli...we love our niece-to-be and our other nephew/niece(?)-to-be. We love the oppurtunities to spoil them, whether they are ten miles away or ten hundred miles away! (Although we prefer the latter)
We are so thankful for our parents who have raised us to love the Lord and live our lives for Him.
We can't begin to say how thankful we are for siblings, for all the arguments that are under the bridge, they are always there and for that we are so thankful.
Well...this wasn't intended to be a sentimental post, but I just couldn't help it... We love our family and I just wanted them (and everyone else) to know that!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Fail Baked Seafood Lasagna

Alright...I am not the biggest fan of seafood, but this is awesome!

Prep Time: 15min.

3 Tbsp. Butter
3 Tbsp. Flour
3 cups Milk
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup Cottage Cheese
1 cup Shredded Mozzerella Cheese, divided
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
9 Lasagna noodles
1/2 lb. fresh or thawed frozen cleaned shrimp (31 to 35), cooked
2 cans (6 oz each) crabmeat, drained, flaked

*Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add flour; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk, mixing well after each addition. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 to 5 min or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese; set aside. Combine spinach, cottage cheese, 2/3 cup mozzerella cheese and nutmeg.

*Spread 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese sauce onto bottom of 9x13 inch pan. Cover with 3 of the lasagna noodles and layers of 1/2 each of the shrimp, crabmeat and spinach mixture; top with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese sauce. Repeat layers, starting with the noodles.

*Top with remaining 3 lasagna noodles, remaining Parmesan cheese sauce and remaining mozzerella cheese. Cover with foil.

*Bake 25 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 20 minutes or until lasagna is heated through. Let stand 10 minutes beofre cutting into 12 pieces to serve.

Tastes great with garlic bread!!

Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Roller Blading Mania

As stated before Eric and I took a wonderful trip to Georgia for the 4th. While we were there we took a trek to Goodwill and found some cool junk. Like they say, "One man's trash is another man's potpourri." Anyway, while we were at the Goodwill we found two pairs of roller blades that fit us and we couldn't pass up the deal. His were $6.25 and mine were $7.35.

What a great deal, right?!

To preface the rest of my story I must tell you that Eric is a great roller blader/ice skater. He used to work at an ice skating rink, if that gives you any idea as to how good he is.

To give you an idea of the exact opposite, me, I can't remember the last time I went roller skating...rollerblading never, and ice skating...well, I think it was three years ago when I went to school in KC.

So Eric is having a challenge teaching me how to rollerblade. We have been going quite faithfully for the last two weeks. There is a small neighborhood beside our trailor so we have been trying to go there. It is difficult though to rollerblade on pavement. Eric has been, and is very patient. He keeps trying to make me let go of him while I'm blading. Are You Crazy Or Something?!

Monday night we had my brother and sis-in-law and there two kids over for supper...Seafood lasagna (Yum, I will post the recipe later) and delicious strawberry/blueberry shakes. After our dinner we went to the lake where there is a 5 mile walking trail.

Oops, I forgot, the wheels on my cheap rollerblades messed up so Eric and I are looking into purchasing replacements.

Anyway, Adrian had some rollerblades that she couldn't use, (she is pregnant) so she rode a bike and I used her roller blades. Thanks, I think.

Ryan pushed the stroller with the two boys in it, while rollerblading and Eric rollerbladed as well.

Okay, so if you know me you know that I am some what of a, well a chicken, in the largest sense of the word. I always have been whether it is just learning how to ride my bike, or learning how to drive. It doesn't matter I am always a chicken.
Looking back at this story now it is actually a funny scenario. Anytime a hill would come, I would quickly grab Eric's arm and say, "a hill, Babe, there's a hill." He would patiently let me hold on for dear life as I tried to apply the brake at the same time. (I am still learning how to stop...and that is the most important thing in my book).

Well, we did pretty well on the first half, then on the second half as we made our way back we were just ahead of Ryan and Adrian (which was a first) and Eric, with Jack in tow on his leash was coaching me as I looked up and frantically told Eric, "a hill, Babe, there's a hill." This was not just any hill though. To you professionals out there, like Eric this would have been fun, but to us amatuer chickens, this is a time to panic.

Eric usually just coached me through those times, but this hill was bigger than the rest and had a large turn at the bottom. He just told me to hold on tight and he would roll us through it.

You know that saying, "I saw my life flash before my eyes.." Apply that to this situation.

There we were, Eric, holding on to Jack, telling me to hold holding on the Eric's arm and the back of his shirt about to hyperventilate(wanting to close my eyes desperately, but thought better of it). I could just see us crashing into the looming forest ahead of us.

Are you just waiting on baited breath to hear what happened? Thankfully we made it past the large hill and the rest of the trip was uneventful. I can certainly tell you though, that the rest of the trip I did not let go of Eric's arm. (By the way, even Eric admitted that he was a little nervous going down the wasn't for himself though).

Jack was thirsty after our 5 mile trek.
I am still learning and hopefully will get the hang of it soon, but I must say, I am about to insist to Eric that I get a bike and he can sell my rollerblades.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

You say Tomato I say Tomahto...

Well, I realize that one probably doesnt' spell "tomahto" like that, but when you're trying to sing a song anything goes...right?
Many posts ago I mentioned that I had just started a Spring Garden. Well, much to my chagrin after planting many types of herbs and veggies and flowers the only thing that produced any type of harvest were the tomatoes. I can't complain too much however. Why? Because those tomatoes went through a lot and they still are producing.

Our lovely 4 month old puppy decided one evening that he would chew up the sticks that were holding up our small tomato plants. Being a dog he, of course, was not able to tell the difference between the sticks and the stalks. The next morning when I went outside to head for work I saw the mess that Jack had made. I didn't have time to fix them so I called Eric and asked if he would mind trying to repair the major disarray of my poor tomato plants. He did the best he could the next thing to do was to just wait and see if our plants would continue their cycle of growth...(*holding your breath, right?)
One tomato plant still looks good, the other three, well we are still waiting to see if they will continue to produce.

When we got back from our trip to Georgia I discovered that one of the plants had a red, ripe tomato on it. YAY!! I was so excited. My first ever, home-grown myself, tomato. I picked it (not before taking pictures) and Eric and I ate it on our supper that night.

If you look closely at the tomato stalk you can see that it is slightly broken...Jack's handi-work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Celebrate Our Independence

Eric and I had a great July 4th weekend. We made the trek down to Georgia for his grandparents 50th anniversary. We went down to Georgia to celebrate with them and the rest of the family. It wasn't just Eric and I, however, we made the 12 + 12 hour drive with Jack. He is a great car dog. He either slept or just sat in the back seat listening to me read a book outloud. Thanks Mom and Dad Pallozzi for letting Jack share your home for the long weekend.

We had a great time all being together and seeing the fam. We can't wait until Christmas!

We also got to go see a great fireworks display.

Happy 4th!!!

Wordless? I Don't Think So

So...many people say that a picture is worth a thousand words. That may be the case a majority of the time, but in some cases a picture only peaks ones curiosity and leaves them at a loss for words. I cannot leave these next pictures wordless...

Ryan, my brother, had a birthday and his wonderful wife, Adrian, planned a special birthday celebration for him. It was a murder mystery party. Everyone had a different character to dress up as and we had to come and play our part throughout the evening. It was definitely an evening with lots of laughs and fun.

The best part was seeing what everyone dressed up like. If you can't tell, Eric was an Indian (with a great accent, by the way) and I was supposed to be someone called, "the Black Knight." This was my version.